A QIC-led consortium is buying a gas-storage facility in Australia from the China Light & Power Group.

QIC’s Global Infrastructure Fund (QGIF) and existing QIC clients are buying the Iona Gas Storage Facility near Melbourne from EnergyAustralia, a member of China Light & Power Group, for AUD1.8bn (€1.1bn).

The deal is expected to close by year-end.

Iona was Australia’s first underground natural gas storage facility.

Ross Israel, head of QIC global infrastructure, said: “Iona is a strategic, high-quality infrastructure asset in the Australian east coast gas market.

“It provides essential storage facilities to domestic integrated utilities to service intermediate and peak gas demand.”

He added: “Iona is an attractive core infrastructure asset for our clients, with an essential role in the Australian east coast energy-supply value chain.

“It has long-term contracts with its customers, which underpin stable and predictable cashflows while also presenting a platform for further growth and expansion opportunities.”

QGIF, an unlisted investment vehicle, is backed by institutional investors including Hostplus, one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds, an Asian sovereign wealth fund and a Chinese insurer.